jimmy cliff's "harder they
come" is ripe for a hip-hop remake.
worked at tom's place today.
finished the deck. it was a satisfying project - sanded it down with a
drum floor sander, he did the edges with the random orbit sander, then
i did the side deck with the random orbit sander, cleaned out the spaces
between the planks with a putty knife, rolled linseed oil on it, wiped
off the excess, and stood back to admire a job well done. also did some
landscaping. best of all, i got enough money to pay the rent (barely).
i feel like i've done a
lot of work at the alumni house, but i've yet to get a paycheck. should
get paid on the 6th.
work was a bit annoying
today. don't have any tomorrow though so that's nice.
meryl's first day of mills
not much to report.
half day of work today.
after work we went and
did some shopping and took care of some stuff at mills.
today i got a call from
a construction company that i was supposed to have an interview with (but
they found someone before i had the chance), and they said that they're
hiring for the position again. all of a sudden i have too many opportunities.
i can't just quit my job at the cal alumni association and these people
probably won't hire me for two days a week. lame.
finally purchased return
of the jedi and empire strikes back on dvd. got the versions with the original
i worked this weekend on
various projects for a friend of my aunt's. his name is tom, he used to
be a painter, but now he teaches english and does landscaping during the
summer. he's a good guy and he needs to get a bunch of work done by labor
day so i figured i'd help him out. got to operate a floor sander on his
old deck, so that was a new experience. meryl was busy with stuff for school
so it worked out pretty well overall. it was also nice because i got some
cash. i've been working at the alumni association for what seems like a
while now, yet i haven't gotten my first paycheck, so i'm pretty strapped
for cash. down to my last $100. rent and insurance are both due soon.
today i had work at the
alumni association. afterwards, meryl and i went to vern and ryan's. we
ate out and then came back and played on the wii. pretty fun console.
went to lunch with a guy
from work today. he's nice enough. it was somewhat strange, though, because,
after exchanging the usual get-to-know-you type banter, he asked where
on the political spectrum i was. the conversation quickly turned towards
what we each thought could be done to make the world a better place and
from there it went into a conversation about whether or not human life
has an inherent value. this isn't an out of the ordinary conversation for
jon and me, but it was strange to have it with someone i just met. he asked
a lot of questions about my thoughts on the role of government and human
nature. hopefully he's not the mass murderer type. i don't think he is,
though, if not for the simple reason that he seems too social to fit in
the cho, harris, etc. mold.
got meryl's rear struts
replaced. next i think my front brake shoes are going to need replacing.
also going to give her car a simple tune-up.
my back has been hurting
lately again. in part because of the work i'm doing and in part because
it just has been off since i came back from ohio.
took the bus back from
work today. it's $1.75 each way which is steep if you ask me. i'm going
to look into getting a cal students' ID and making a copy of it. cal students
ride the bus for free so that's the way to go.
had my first full day of
real work today. got all sorts of random, minor tasks done. bought a new
chair for some guy, changed some light bulbs, inventoried some old copies
of the "blue and gold" yearbooks (we have almost all of them dating back
to 1877), did some shopping for some tasks i'll take care of tomorrow,
etc. i was busy all day and worked 7.5 hours so it was a good day. the
parking situation is on the crappy side. taking the bus is likely in my
future. the commute isn't much longer and 3.50 round-trip is actually a
bit cheaper, on average, than i'd likely pay for parking in the immediate
finished my dad's vhs to
meryl's still in texas
having a good ole time. actually, she's bored stiff.
luke's in north carolina
and he called me the other day. we had a good talk.
finished the first season
of the wire. i had plenty of problems with it, most of them boiled down
to unrealistic writing in the details and poor acting. i may or may not
give the second season a try. the first season of any show is always spotty
so i guess you have to look at the potential of the characters, the premise,
and the writing. that said, i think the first season of law and order was
better than the first season of the wire. imdb.com users voted the wire
a 9.7 and the sopranos a 9.5.
having to wake up in the
morning by a certain time has never been a love of mine.
was listening to air america
last night and they had a infomercial about all the great things vitamin
c can do - prevent colds, get rid of hemorrhoids, cure insomnia and cancer
and all sorts of outlandish claims. it was funny because about a week ago
i was listening to the conservative station and limbaugh (i think it was
him) was talking about a recent study that found that vitamin c did not
prevent colds, as has often been claimed. i'm used to hearing conflicting
reports on these stations about immigration and iraq and global warming,
but vitamin c? was it a coincidence or is there something more to this?
just got back from seeing
the new version of invasion of the body snatchers. there are some significant
differences, but it's still a remake and belongs in the family of four.
i've been thinking about
this for a long time now...why, when we're watching a movie or reading
a fiction book, do we hope a character does a certain thing, or act a certain
way, or not get whacked in the end or end up with his high school sweetheart
or whatever? 1) the story has already been written, hoping does even less
than usual (see quote at top of the page for more on that). 2) why do we
bother caring about something fictional? and i don't mean that question
as a cheap jab at religion, which is primarily about believing in a creation
of someone's fantasy, either. i've never really understood my own feelings
in this regard. i suppose you have to give your feelings to a work in order
for it to work, and once you do that you can't help pulling for, or rooting
finished the west wing
last week. the ending was a bit disappointing, but also fitting. season
seven was a bit of a return to form for the show from a writing standpoint,
but it was too much about the horse race between alda and smits. those
first four seasons, though, were freaking great.
today i finished the sopranos.
i'm going to talk about the ending so stop reading if you don't want to
know anything about it. i've been watching a few shows a day for the last
several days. the show peaked during episodes 9-13 of season five, but
the entire run is good. unlike most people, i liked the ending. it reminded
me of the film "limbo"
by john sayles in that you're given enough reason to think the characters
will live or die, but you're not given an answer. i think anyone who says
tony clearly lives or dies is being myopic, it's a nice thought exercise,
but i think there are plausible clues implying both. i tend to like finality,
but i don't mind a cop-out ending (let's not mince words - that's what
it really is) if it's done well or suits a purpose. i think it was done
well here and it may serve the purpose of making us the jury on tony's
fate. or maybe we're finally put into his shoes - looking at everyone suspiciously.
i think it works well so i actually liked the ending. regarding the show
on the whole - i think that tony soprano may be the most textured, multi-faceted
and interesting character in tv history. that said, i'm not a huge tv person,
not by a long shot. you also have to consider that his character was able
to flower and develop over the course of 8 real years, 6 seasons, 86 episodes
and more hours (because each show is about 54 minutes long, and 86 episodes
is a long run by most standards) of tv than 90+% of fictional tv personalities.
it's a great show for a lot of reasons - the characters and their many
arcs, the music, the subjects that were able to be discussed because the
show was on cable (interesting that we have to pay for uncensored art,
hmmm...), the writing, the fact that it acknowledges its many influences
early on and honestly, and more. it grows redundant in isolated places,
the soprano kids couldn't act for shit for the first couple seasons, and
it received too much hype, but it's a great show nonetheless. it's incomparable
because it was made for cable (so you can't compare it to other great dramas
like the west wing), and it was on tv (so you can't compare it to the godfather
one question i do have
regarding that last episode is why he was dressed differently when he walked
in than when he was sitting in the booth. it was edited as if he was watching
himself at one point, and i couldn't really figure out what the point of
was dubbing a ucla/duke
basketball game from vhs to dvd when an old excedrin commercial came on.
it featured the father from malcolm in the middle (also the dentist in
seinfeld). old commercials are funny.
they also had a dunk contest
during halftime and it featured mike conley, among others. afterwards,
conley went to the sideline with his son (mike conley, jr.) who went to
ohio state and was drafted #3 this year.
meryl got an mp3 player
as an early birthday present from her dad. i was in charge of reencoding
all the mp3s (because the ones on my computer are encoded at too high a
quality) and transferring them to the player for her. at 128kbps you can
fit about 18.5 hours of music per gig of space. using that figure i calculated
that i'd need about a player that could fit about 120 gigs to fit all my
music. right now the largest ipod fits 80gigs. i'm hoping that the increased
use of video will push mp3 player makers to produce devices that can fit
100+ gigs of media.
excited about the new invasion
of the body snatchers. each one has something to say about society in that
place and time. it's directed by the guy who did downfall (which i own,
but still haven't seen) and das experiment (which is great).
had the interview at the
cal alumni association today. seemed to go well and she said she'd like
to hire me. the guy whose job i'd be taking over is leaving within a week
so i think that's part of the reason i'm going to get the job; desperation.
also going to finish painting
the last two rooms in my aunt's place tomorrow. also got a call from the
tile contractor and he needs some work done tomorrow. i'm busy all of a
sudden. hopefully all these things pan out and can be scheduled in such
a way that i stay busy and profitable.
three more episodes of
the west wing to go. finished curb your enthusiasm the other day (new season
to begin next month, i think). 26 more episodes of the sopranos. after
that i'll start the wire. might give deadwood a try as well.
updated the cold count.
first cold of the year and it's an odd one. mostly in the throat and lungs.
lingering, but mostly in the morning.
worked on my sister's laptop
yesterday. it was running slow and had some problems. needs a new battery
and ac adapter, but seems fine otherwise.
also working on selling
my uncle's corvette. engine's seized, two tires are flat, sunroof is broken,
inside is trashed. the 4+3 transmission and body are good. let me know
if you're interested.
today met with a tile contractor
in san leandro who my mom knows. he's looking for some help and that may
start as early as next week.
also got an interview with
the cal alumni association for a handyman position. i applied for that
one weeks ago and called them, but hadn't heard from them until now. having
both would be pretty ideal since they'd both be part-time and i think both
would keep me busy with different types of construction work. of course
it could turn out that neither pans out.
came up from la on monday.
on my way back i visited my paternal grandma for the first time in a long
time. they have a nice place in watsonville now. we ate at a place in soquel
that's a couple miles from webb ranch. never knew they were that close
to luke and family.
today meryl and i went
to her grandfather's 80th birthday. had a big meal at buckhorn, with all
the courses that come with a proper dinner.
almost done with the last
season of the west wing. it's still a good show, but the drop off in writing,
character development and plot are all noticeable after the departure of
still looking for work,
still not finding anything. might have a lead with a tile contractor that
my mom knows. other than that i don't have any leads. pretty soon i'm going
to start looking for some part-time chump work that'll pay the bills. being
wealthy would be preferable.
still converting vhs to
dvd for my dad. should be done with that in a couple weeks.
bonds broke the record.
assuming a-rod doesn't have any major medical problems, he'll break the
record in 7 years or thereabouts, so all this controversy around him and
the record will be just a memory.
i hate loud motorcycles.
noise pollution is so lame.
some guy is writing a book
about steve smith (the wide receiver for the panthers who went to high
school with me) and he wrote an email to me to see if i had any information
about smith. kinda interesting.
finally downloaded some
stuff from my camera.
dodgers vs. giants
gas station at olympic
and robertson. this is a block away from the school attended prior to 2nd
grade, which is no longer there.
gums are bleeding, should
go to a dentist. might have a cavity. need insurance.
pretty broke these days.
going to start looking for work, rather than a career (which has been a
complete failure so far).
got two tickets today because
of the once a month street cleaning. $96 down the drain. yay.
i hate money because it
is so frequently the thing that keeps me from being stress free or happy
or unburdened or whatever.
got a sore throat the other
day and it's still with me. i'm not sick, but there's definitely something
that isn't quite right.
i think the only way to
unload the corrado and get anything decent out of it is to put a little
money into it to make it worth buying.
in la now. went to the
three dodgers/giants games on tuesday, wednesday and thursday. bonds played
all three games, but wasn't effective and obviously didn't get the record-tying
HR. it was a fun time nonetheless. the dodger fans were brutal to the giants
fans and bonds. chants of "barry sucks" and "steroids" were heard when
he entered left field, the on deck circle and the batter's box. anytime
he got near the ball he was booed and every out he caused was met with
cheers. there were occasional skirmishes throughout the games, but nothing
too drastic, that i saw.
i've been thinking about
going to the padres game tomorrow to see if i can't get lucky and see bonds
hit his HR there. still not decided on that. luke and ryan are in san diego
now and were in la during the dodger series, but i didn't see them.
probably coming back up
in the next couple days. i have a couple things to take care of down here
in the late stages
of the fourth season of the sopranos. if you're interested in getting into
the series i would recommend going about it this way: read a detailed summary
of the first season written by someone who has seen the entire series.
watch about half the episodes of the second season, and 75% of the episodes
of the third season, and read a synopsis of the missed episodes. so far
all but one or two episodes of the fourth season have been worth watching.
the sopranos has gotten better with each season, whereas the west wing
got worse after sorkin left (at the end of the fourth season).